Do We Want to Become a Cashless Society?
For centuries past, buyers and sellers have traded using coins and then later on bank notes as well.
More recently, debit and credit cards have become the currency of choice for many and, during the times of lockdown, many stores and business decided not to accept cash.
But do we really want to become a cashless society?
Remember that a cashless society means no cash at all. It does not mean like at present where you have a choice of being mostly cashless but being able to use a bit of cash here and there when needed.
Cashless means fully digital, fully traceable and fully controlled.
How do we teach our child the value of money in a cashless society?
This is where I feel the biggest loss would be…
- No more pocket money and no more saving in piggy banks or tooth fairy deposits under the pillow.
- No more cash slipped into the hands of grandchildren from their grandparents.
- No more money conveniently placed in birthday cards, Christmas cards or other reasons for celebration.
Children often take great delight in counting up how much they have saved in their piggy bank and what they can use this amount to buy something they need or desire or to place in an actual savings account.
Adults too need to have access to some cash from time to time
In a totally cashless society, there would be no more:
- Tucked-away cash for an emergency or a rainy day.
- Garage sales, jumble sales, charity coffee mornings and more.
- Cash donations to a collection box.
- Cash donations to hungry homeless you pass in the street.
- Being able to choose where you purchase based on affordability.
However, carrying cash makes you an easy target for criminals. Once the money is taken from your wallet and put into a criminal's wallet, it is difficult to track that cash or prove that it is yours.
But on the other hand, when you spend with cash, you recognize the financial impact by physically taking the cash out and paying to someone else. With electronic payments, on the other hand, it becomes too easy to swipe, tap or click without noticing how much you spend. Consumers may have to rethink the ways they manage their spending.
Some people are concerned about the Big Brother aspect of a cashless society
- Banks having full control of every single cent you own.
- Every transaction you make being recorded. While you might trust the organizations that handle your data, the more information you have online, the more the risk of it ending up in malicious hands.
- All your movements and actions being traceable.
- Access to your money being blocked at the click of a button with banks deciding if and when they needed ‘clarification’ from you - which could take some time with questions having to be answered and passwords having to be put in.
- If your transactions are deemed in any way questionable, by those who create the questions, your money could be frozen.
- Losing some of your independence.
- Technology problems as well as glitches, outages and even innocent mistakes could impact your access to funds, leaving you without the ability to pay when you need to.
How do you feel?
If you care, pay with cash - and say no to a cashless society while you still have a choice.
Cash is legal tender, so we are perfectly entitled to pay with cash. But for some time now, banks have made it increasingly difficult and more expensive to deposit cash.
A cashless society might sound like something out of science fiction, but it is already halfway here, encouraged by many who are in power including some governments and large financial services companies.